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*pant*pant* Sheesh, it's been a busy week. I had a midterm (easy) and a paper to write (not terrible, but not easy). Plus, Elena and I have been running hither and yon. We went to Hancock Shaker Village to see baaaaaby animals the other night, which was fun. Today we went to the princess&pirate birthday party, which was *awesome*, though I feel exhausted now just from being around all that concentrated 4-year-old chaos for 2 hours. :)

FYI, I am on Dreamwidth - same username. Not sure what I'm doing with it yet, but it seemed wise to become a squatter at the very least. We'll see how all it plays out.
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Elena, just now [watching The Little Mermaid]: Where are Ariel's parents?
Me: Well, they just showed her father. He's looking for her.
E: But where's her mom?
Me: *eyeroll* Good question.
[livejournal.com profile] galagan: Yeah, we never get to find that out, do we?
E: Maybe she's at work?
[livejournal.com profile] galagan: Could be....
E: Yeah, she's definitely at work.

(Way to go, sweetie! Glad to see that feminist consciousness is developing already at age 4! We must be doing something right!)
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Elena's two best friends both have May birthdays. We received two small envelopes today. I opened the first one to see Disney princesses: Snow White, Cinderella and Ariel. Yup, that kid is pretty princessy, so I'm not surprised. Okey-dokey.

Opened the second one. Same invitation card, only there is a small pirate flag on a toothpick stuck through Snow White's hand. Snow White is also sporting an eye-patch and a tattoo of an anchor. Princess and pirate party; costumes encouraged.

I can't WAIT for that one. :)

Also - must share:

big grin

(That was a ballerina applique she found at Walmart. I sewed it on the T-shirt.)
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The other day, Elena was flipping through her favorite books about the planets, and said "Mom, dwarf means small, right?" Some time later, she commented, "Next year, when Pluto grows up, it will be a REAL planet." I engaged in a brief discussion with her about how planets don't really grow that way, and so I didn't think.... but she was completely uninterested in my point, so I dropped it.


Nice weekend. Friday, [livejournal.com profile] galagan had the day off (because the markets were closed) and Elena went to school, so the two of us got to hang out all morning, no pressure and no kid..... It was very nice. Then he took off to play poker, and I pretended to do school work all afternoon. (ha!) Saturday, I got up and went to work, which was workish, and then came home and read my book while [livejournal.com profile] galagan slept off that poker binge. Last night we went to [livejournal.com profile] kassrachel's seder, with [livejournal.com profile] samtheeagle in tow, and it was lovely and low-key and yummy. Parsley, horseradish, charoset..... these things make me happy. We came home and put E to bed very late and then stayed up extra late talking with Sam himself. Got up this morning, gave Elena some chocolate, went to breakfast with Sam, and then waved goodbye to him. Since then, we've just had a quiet lazy Sunday - I've done a little school work, and there's reading and snacks. And leftovers for dinner. :)
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After a good dinner and dessert, Elena started angling for more. She was still hungry! We suggested she could eat more dinner then, because she'd already had dessert, and there would be no second desserts.

E: But desserts have hungry in them too!!

Hee. No, she didn't get more dessert, even for that cuteness. I still clearly remember arguing that the dessert part of my stomach still had room, even though all the other sections were filled up. I meant it, too.
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Life is good today.

As of this morning, Elena will be starting to go to pre-school 3 days a week next week! I'd been wanting this increase for a little while, chiefly for school purposes - but it also opens up the possibility of occasional free time (like, it might get to exist) for me. She loves school so much, and we knew we wanted to increase the number of days eventually. Woo!! One of her friends starts on Monday (in the class below hers) - so that will be nice too: she'll be there to cheer on O at his first day.

.... *ahem* I'm distracted for a moment, because there seems to be a huge convention of female cardinals outside the window. There must be at least 30 of them. How bizarre.


I think my classes are going to be survivable this quarter. We'll See.

Work stuff is good too. The director and the children's librarian will be retiring this summer, and people are moving up, etc. They asked me if I would be interested in the mid-level positions opening up. (Yes.) And yesterday, I arrived for story hour just in time to hear the future Acting Director tell the current children's staff that he's been hearing wonderful things about me and my work there. Woo!

Tonight Elena is going over to Cassie's house for the evening and we have a night out! on! the! town! Woohoo indeed.

ETA: In other good news - go Iowa!!!! :)
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Hmmm, it sure seems like there's been a lot going on. We had a playdate yesterday that was a real downer, mostly because the other mother spent a large percentage of the visit complaining about how difficult her daughter is. Her daughter is a little overwhelming and bossy, yes, but I have not seen the horrible horrible child her mother depicts. It was very depressing. I want to like this woman (among other reasons, because our daughters are friends), but she was making it a tad difficult.

Also, [livejournal.com profile] galagan is back, woooooooo! Elena was starting to get X-tra whiny, but with his return, she has once again become a mostly delightful child. Whew.

She has been telling me stories. Detailed stories with great narration. She uses phrases like "she said" and "he explained" and "he moaned" and "she wailed" correctly and to great effect. She gets really into dramatic voices too. Last night's story was about her and Ariel and a boy from the library who were all mermaids and then turned into humans, and then into princesses, and they were wearing a blue dress and a yellow dress and a pink dress. (E had the pink dress, of course.) Today's story started out with Owl and Rabbit and Piglet in the Hundred Acre Wood but expanded to include all kinds of other characters and had a dramatic plane crash and dinosaurs. (The stories are dramatic, but they don't necessarily make sense yet - give her a few years to work on her plots.)

My classes for the next quarter start today! In one of my classes is someone who lives here in Williamstown! (The closest classmate I've yet encountered was in Fitchburg, I think.) We may actually get to meet face-to-face, which would be a first for me in this program. Also, one of the classes is Public Library Service, in which we examine all aspects of public libraries. One of our assignments later in the course is to read a bestselling book, preferably in a genre we might not typically choose for ourselves. Which would you pick for yourself? For me? I generally will categorically refuse to read bestsellers because I am a snob they just don't interest me. I see a couple of options there - I refuse to read horror and I'd rather not read an action thriller type. My dad said to read the Grisham, but that seems like cheating, as I have voluntarily read Grisham in the past. Maybe The Host, for the giggles? The Picoult, though I think I'd read that voluntarily too? Decisions, decisions.... (This will likely end up hinging on which book I can easily check out first from the library. But it's still fun to ponder.)

I suddenly remembered last night that I had already bought a birthday present for [livejournal.com profile] galagan (turns 39 on Thursday) - but couldn't remember where I'd stashed it. Whew, I just turned it up. Now I don't have to tear the whole house apart.
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I haven't written much lately..... some combination of too-busy and not-enough-going-on. :) My dad is here visiting now, and I tend not to spend as much time noodling around LJ while he's around. We went to MassMOCA yesterday (the Sol Lewitt exhibit is *amazing*!!!! It makes me very happy to realize that I have 24.5 more years to visit it and look many many more times), and today went to the local history museum that tells all about trains and train tunnels...... I like that stuff (well, the local history part, anway) and so does he, but Elena was not putting up with it at ALL, unfortunately, and kept yanking on my hand. "Can we go now, mommy? can we go? can we goooooooooo?"

Dad leaves tomorrow, as does [livejournal.com profile] galagan who is going to Phoenix for a few days of the annual spring break / spring training trip. I'm skipping the trip this year, which is fine...... Our weather is supposed to warm up in the next few days anyway, though perhaps not to Phoenix levels. :) So Elena and I will have several days to ourselves to play. These are the last days of my spring vacation from classes too - so I'm just going to read and cook and quilt/knit/fiddle with bits of yarn and fabric and stuff......'

My third quarter of classes starts next week. One dreadful required class that is some combination of business and technical services - oh goodie! two things I know *nothing* about!!! (and really don't care to, much) - and the other about public libraries, which looks fairly decent.

At some point I need to compose a big progress report post for Elena - this is what she's doing and saying and whatnot these days. But that day is not today.
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We picked my mom up yesterday in Albany, and had dinner at a random Indian restaurant in Albany (Royal India on Central Avenue - two big thumbs up!). Elena was perfectly behaved, and the waiters were so charmed by her that they gave her free dessert. (I think they don't see little kids in there much.) So she's redeemed herself - that's more what we're used to.

My mother took my car and drove down to take the train into New York to hear my sister give a recital tonight. She'll be coming back home tomorrow..... in the 5-12 inches of snow we're suddenly supposed to be getting. Oooops. Well, she lives in Montana and knows how to drive in snow. Hopefully everything will be okay.

[livejournal.com profile] galagan went to New Hampshire to play poker today, so I'm on my own with Elena. I sent out an email about Elena's birthday party and I paid my tuition for next quarter, but I haven't done as much homework as I'd hoped. I also had some girly bonding with Elena. All in all, a good productive day.
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We went out to dinner last night, and Elena decided she didn't like the guy who seated us (this was at Thai Sushi Garden, for those of you currently or formerly local) - and she basically kicked up a fuss every time she saw him for the entire meal. It was miserable. She really ruined dinner. Then we took her home and she was whiny for the rest of the night. We take her out to eat all the time - she totally knows better. It was embarrassing and disappointing.

When I got home from work earlier, I heard her moving around upstairs (supposed to be "napping") - I went to see what was going on, and she had gotten an eyeliner pencil from my room and drawn whiskers on all her dolls. Including some with cloth faces. Maybe I'll try to clean them up, but I worry that the cloth will just smudge and those dolls will forever have grey dirty faces. We'll see. Maybe some of them will just keep their whiskers - we'll have to Have A Talk about it. (We draw whiskers on our own faces like this all the time. But usually with adult supervision. *ahem*)

So yeah.

At work this morning, we had a special event: Llamas in the Library. Yes, really - except it was just one llama. And they do indeed bring him IN to the library - right up the elevator. He was most intrigued by the mirror in the playroom and had to thoroughly check out this other llama who suddenly appeared. He was beautiful and very well-behaved, but we had more than 100 people in our small-ish space within one hour. I'm exhausted now.

And in an hour or so, we will get in the car and drive to Albany to pick up my mother, who is visiting for the next weekend, and whatever birthday festivities will be happening (which I still need to plan).
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When I look at my recent entries, I realize that I haven't made a Real Post in like forEVAR. So I think I'll try - but it may end up being a random laundry list.

* School is good. This has been an unexpectedly easy quarter, which is lovely and nice. I am surviving Stats, and maybe even understand some of it. (I have an AWESOME prof - that helps.) And the quarter is almost done. Dang, quarters go fast...... In 3 weeks I will be 1/4 of the way through the entire degree!

* Work is good. I like my crappy, low-paying job, and that's a nice realization. And someday, the economy will shift and there will once again be job openings, and I can hope to move on from this to something bigger and more challenging. All in good time (I hope).

* Elena is about to turn 4. 4!! Yes, I know. She is roughly 8 feet tall and talks a blue streak when she gets going...... We had a playdate this morning and I can tell she really likes this particular mom, because she talks about her (as opposed to talking about her child) before they even showed up, and once they got here, she would not shut up! She kept bringing books and toys to K to show off to her.

She was poking through our DVDs last week, and pulled out The Little Mermaid. (Yes, I own it. Shut up.) She was instantly drawn to it, and has watched it every day since. (Actually - she's only allowed to watch it once a day, and we've gotten it so that she watches half of the movie per day - that's 45 minutes, and about as long as her attention span will really go.) This is her first movie obsession (in that toddler way of watching the same movie over and over and over and over) - and it's not THAT bad. She has absolutely no problems with Ursula the Sea Witch. (Let me point out that she won't watch Sesame Street anymore - though she loves it - because she's afraid of Cookie Monster, despite my repeated statements that he's a very nice monster who just gets a little excited sometimes...... But Ursula is no problem? Sheesh.)

So let's add mermaids to the obsession list of princesses and ballerinas.

She's always telling me about her sisters (usually represented by dolls). Sometimes they get time-outs for no apparent reason. It's always a little horrifying to watch her parody of parental discipline and wonder if that's how we appear to her.

She is completely madly utterly head-over-heels in love with me right now. She's so affectionate too, which means she'll launch herself at me for a full body hug and lots of kisses. If she knocks me over, so much the better. This also means, in the balancing scale which is parenting, that she's totally not into Daddy right now. This is okay - he knows how it goes, and that eventually it will shift back again. But this did lead to an amusing conversation yesterday when I left for rehearsal:

Me: I'm going - now you be nice to Daddy, okay?
Her: Okay. I won't push him.
Me: Okay, don't yell at him either.

I need to plan a birthday party for her..... My mom will be here all next week (leading up to E's birthday), so that will be help on some fronts, and also more work entertaining the house guest, etc. etc.

* I have read so many good books in the last month or so! Some of the recent favorites: Graceling, Feed, Fires of the Faithful, Uglies (!!!!!!), the Sharing Knife series, the Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, Spiral Hunt, Rapunzel's Revenge. Mmmmm, good stuff.
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Life with Elena these days is like living with a surrealist comedian. Who sings and makes up her own lyrics on my fly.
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Okay, my week has finally turned around. :)

* I had two concerts this weekend, and they are now over! (There was nothing wrong with them, I just wasn't in the mood, and this wasn't my favorite music ever. Except 2 short songs by Holst, and that's not enough to propel me happily forward, apparently.)

* Yesterday, we bought a new dining room table! Just like that! I am given to understand that normal people go shopping and sometimes spend money, but we usually have to agonize over purchases for MONTHS before we allow ourselves to spend. We ventured out to a couple of antique stores in Pittsfield, and at the second one, we saw a gorgeous gorgeous table, and I think we both fell a little in love on first sight. And the price was so so so much lower than what one would pay for a new table!!!!! So. We'll get it Tuesday. And then we need to get new chairs too. Now we can actually have people over and have somewhere to seat them! We can reciprocate for all those people who have had us over for dinner! \O/

* An actual Girl Scout came to my door this afternoon selling cookies. Need I say more? No more having to hope that I will stumble upon them hawking cookies at the grocery store or the mall! \O/

* For those of you not following [livejournal.com profile] galagan's status updates on Facebook - we just got Rock Band 2. I can sing, no problem, but I suck at the instruments. (Even on Easy - I'm sort of pathetic.) Yay, what fun! \O/

* My daughter is absolutely hilarious. If this is a preview of what 4-years-old will be like, it's going to be a fun year. :) Tonight she drew a picture of "the step-mother, Anastasia and Drizella" and another of Cinderella with most of the planets around her. Her own special spin on the fairy tale. Yeah. If she's not asking constant questions, she's singing made-up songs or racing around the house like crazy. It's a riot. Also, exhausting.
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[livejournal.com profile] galagan and I decided a long time ago that we were only going to have one child. We like our little family of three, and frankly, I is not good with infants and can't imagine doing that again (huge props to those of you who do so!). Last year, I gave away all my pregnancy books - it was a way of saying to myself "Hey, I'm not doing that again, so I don't need these." Today was even bigger: I sold our crib to a friend with a new baby. I'm not wistful exactly, or sad either..... but it felt momentous, carrying the pieces of the crib out to her car and putting them in back. When I told her about it, Elena agreed that Baby N will put the crib to good use.

To add to that, last night [livejournal.com profile] galagan bought a booster seat for E, because she is growing out of her car-seat. The booster seat just works with the regular seatbelt and puts the child and the belt in good position in relation to each other. How did my girl get so big? This seat is for 30-100 pounds. She could be sitting on this till she's ready for college.

She's been using bigger and bigger words lately, sometimes with hilarious results. She has used the word "appropriations" several times recently - at least that's what it sounds like. But it's always in a context where her meaning is quite vague. The best definition I've been able to get from her seems to be akin to "frustration". She has also used the word "processes" a few times, and "properties" (as in, the properties of this item are blah blah blah).

When I dropped her off at school this morning, her best friend A came over to say hi. Then Elena went over to.... um, A2 (the other girl in their class), and gave her a big hug. A2 pulled A into a three-way hug. Awww.

In other news, my eye hurts, my back hurts a little too, I got a summons today for jury duty (I've never served!) in April, and I don't think I understand one of my homework assignments at ALL. It's too early in the quarter to be confused!!!!!
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So, I was going to spend this past week after I turned in all my schoolwork doing some fun projects and none of that happened, thanks to my cold. However, last night I actually slept in my own bed the whole night through (instead of moving to the guest bed so I wouldn't wake up [livejournal.com profile] galagan with all the coughing in the middle of the night).

And now - it's time for everyone's favorite thing: holiday travel! I'm very hopeful that the snow will be over and cleared out of the way in time for an airplane to take off from Albany tomorrow at 10 a.m. Hopefully tomorrow won't be too much of a nightmare for us. Elena's getting better and better about travel, so I have my fingers crossed.

I should be packing - her school is closing early, so I have to pick her up in just a hour. Gah.
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Another funny moment from our day - we were at Walmart this morning, just looking around and roaming the electronics section. [livejournal.com profile] galagan started to turn our cart down one aisle, and Elena said, "No, go to that aisle." So he went one aisle over, and guess what we found? It was the Guitar Hero-Rock Band aisle. They had a drum set there, so she played drums and I poked around at the stuff while he went and browsed elsewhere (getting Christmas ideas).

She totally wants Rock Band - she *always* points it out in stores, ever since our Texas trip. (She loved watching people play it there.) Think she can be the one to finally convince [livejournal.com profile] galagan we *need* to get it??? :)
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Elena is really into the planets right now (we have a good library book checked out now on the topic). Her favorites are Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto, because they all have P's in them and that's her favorite letter now. (And yes, she knows Pluto is a dwarf planet, but she still likes it.)

She fell down the other day and her knee got a little scraped up through her tights. I commented on it being a bit red, and she said, "It's like Jupiter's Great Red Spot." We started laughing, but she didn't like that, and told us not to laugh at her. (Of course, we assured her that we weren't laughing at her.)

This morning, she seriously informed me that her Great Red Spot was feeling much better today.

Eeee!!! How does one NOT laugh????? :)
kcobweb: (EK-3y)
Elena has a new best friend. This makes me so happy. She's such a shy child - like I was. I had friends as a baby/toddler, and then we moved and I didn't have any close friends for a while (until we moved again, and I met [livejournal.com profile] rivka). I know that lonely path of the shy child, and you always hope for better things for your own children.....

Elena's been talking a lot lately about A from school, and A's mother C just figured out that she knows me a little (she's in my book club) and so we went over to their house this morning for a playdate. OMG, the excitement on both sides. The shrieking. The giggling. The goofing around. The funny faces. They dressed up in ballet clothes and danced around for us. It's so nice to see Elena really bonding tightly with someone her own age. (One set of her friends are twins - so she has fun with them both, but it's still a threesome, and sometimes gets awkward and weird with ever-shifting alliances. Another of her closest friends right now is quite a bit younger - they have a blast together, but they aren't completely on the same level all the time.) C (A's mom) was saying how nice it is for A too, because the rest of their class at preschool is mostly boys (on the days they are there, anyway), and while boys are fine to play with, it's just not the same. They are both definitely in a really girly phase, and it's nice to have someone else to play princess and ballerina and tea party with. (Elena plays with her fair share of trucks and dinosaurs too.)

And assuming we stay here (which we certainly plan on doing, darn it) - she and A will be in the same class at school, and can be friends for a long long time. I certainly hope so. (I think about that a lot, looking around at a roomful of toddlers we know - what it will be like to watch them all grow up.)
kcobweb: (red dress)
Everybody at story hour this morning was asking "how was your Thanksgiving? how was yours?" And my initial thought was, well that was *weeks* ago. Ahem. Perhaps not. I've been busy.... or preoccupied. Mostly with school. This is my last week of classes for my first quarter! I have a paper due on Sunday (a hypothetical grant report, which I'm not worried about at all. I've done plenty of grants in my lifetime), a final due Monday (take-home, open-book, etc. Mostly fill-in-the-blank, discussion type stuff, with a word limit, so they aren't expecting major novels written for each answer. I'm not too worried about it either), and a final project due Wednesday (as in, a week from tomorrow - an annotated bibliography about information seeking behavior of a particular user group chosen by moi). So since Thanksgiving I've really been working on the paper and the project, a bit nose-to-the-grindstone (the test was just given to us yesterday). I've even been dreaming about my schoolwork, which is a sure sign that my brain has been completely taken over.

Sunday we went for a *drive*. Gas prices are so low, it's reasonable to do that again! (Seriously, every time I pass a gas station and see those low low prices under $2, my brain shouts, "Dump the milk!! The cat's drinking unleaded from now on!!" Every. Time.) We drove up to Wilmington, which is a charming little ski-country Vermont town and had breakfast at one of our favorite spots (Dot's Restaurant - I had to-die-for Eggs Benedict) and wandered around. It's the kind of thing we used to do all the time, and just don't anymore - mostly because of gas prices. It was really nice. It started snowing a bit on the way home, though by the time we got home, it had turned to sleet. I was glad we were able to take advantage of the nice weather in the morning.

Otherwise.... apart from school work..... Elena's been jumping up and down on my last nerve today, as much as possible. She can still change moods in the blink of an eye, so she'll be just fine and asking questions and stuff, and then start yelling and whining about nothing in particular. Or go from whining and crying inconsolably to giggling and happy. It's hard to manage that, in terms of my own emotions. We're all tired today, which doesn't help. (She was up at 12:15 wanting water and at 3:20 because - so I'm told - her elbow itched.) But one of her best friends was at the library this morning, so she was happy there. And soon we get to go to *~*dance class*~*. And then I go to work.


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April 2017



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